We are sitting at gate S16 at Seattle Tacoma airport waiting for our Icelandair flight to Glasgow via Reykjavik. I can still see the towering snowy volcanic peak of Mount Rainier through the window, one of the many vistas that makes Seattle such a beautiful city.
We’ve had a great couple of days here staying with Viv and Rick. Viv is a friend of Chris’ from his WRI days, and so we got a good glimpse of ‘radical’ Seattle.
On our first night here around 30 people, including 4 or 5 Raging Grannies (one wearing the best raging Granny t-shirt I have ever seen), some folk involved with the Ground Zero community (nuclear submarine base), and Chuck Esser one of the authors of the Resource Manaul for a Living Revolution, turned up for our Freedom Come All Ye protest song workshop which Viv had kindly organised. It was a great evening and much enjoyed, although I felt a little underprepared. We also passed on copies of the 50 years of Scottish antinuclear songbooks and the Guid Cause songbook to some of the Raging Grannies and other activists.They were really excited and it felt good to be passing on those songs in the knowledge that they will be well used by activists in other corners of the world. The power of song lives on!
Yesterday Viv and Rick took us on an alternative tour of Seattle which took in the sites where the WTO protests took place, the Fremont troll and artists quarter known as the Centre of the Universe with the wonderful motto De Libertas Quirkas.
We finished with a wonderful swim in Lake Washington under the watchful eye of Mount Rainier. As we were drying off in the sun a bald eagle flew right above us — we must be in America! Truly spectacular.
Viv and I then spent a happy hour in Value Village, a thrift store supermarket with many exciting bargains.
In addition to housing Bill Gates (we looked a cross at his complex as we swam), Starbucks, Amazon, Boeing and many others Seattle is a very green city. Many residents are growing food in the sidewalks in front of their houses, and there are ‘Pea Patches’ — community food growing spaces.
This morning I went to the museum at the Univeristy of Washington, where , in addition to wonderful exhibits about wolves, owls and woodpeckers there was some great art work and information about the native peoples. I enjoyed studying basketry through Viv’s knowledgeable eyes, and hope to finally make my own basket in the not too distant future.